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Valentine.gr  

June 2004

Did you know that oleander is extremily poisonous if eaten and the fumes from a burning Ôleander is still very hazardous?

Oleander - Nerium Oleander

Olenader - Nerium Oleander

The oleander (Nerium Oleander) is a plant of the Dogbane family - Apocynaceae - family. It  is an evergreen shrub reaching up till 4 m. It shows erect stems, plenty of latex. Lanceolate leaves, similar to those of the sweet bay, opposed, hard to the tact, with short petiole. It produces rosy flowers till 4 cm. Its fruits remember those of the beans, but they are much bigger dark brown. Inside these pods they contain seeds provided with feathery plumes

It is native from Europe and Asian Middle East, although it can be found like an ornamental plant in many parts of the world.

Nerium oleander is native to the Mediterranean region and was the only kind of Oleander known in Europe until 1683 when Rheede Tot Drakenstein introduced in Holland a cultivated oleander from India. 

The Oleander, as this plant is commonly called, grows in sandy and calcareous places with exhibition to full sun, especially in the beds of the Mediterranean riverbeds that remain dry most of the year

Along the whole summer it can produce very showy flowers that, in very mild climates can continue until mid autumn. The flowers are very big, funnel shaped, with colors that can vary from the red or rose to the violet, the salmon or the pure white. They usually have a single line of petals, generally having eight, but we have other species that present two lines. 

Oleander is a poisonous plant. All parts of this plant are poisonous if eaten. The active ingredients are extracted from the leaves. There have been reports of poisoning and death from ingestion of oleander, oleander leaf tea, and some of its extracts. Even a small amount of oleander can cause fatal respiratory paralysis and cardiac effects. One of the substances in oleander that causes the dangerous effects on the heart is called oleandrin. Because of these dangerous effects, oleander should not be used.

The fumes from a burning Ôleander is still very hazardous. Steer clear of the fumes and never use the branches as firewood!

Although this plant is poisonous, derivatives from oleander have been used for centuries as herbal medicine. Historical records show that the Mesopotamians, in the 15th century BC, believed in the healing properties of oleander. The Babylonians used a mixture of oleander and licorice to treat hangovers. Pliny, the Elder of ancient Greek, wrote about the appearance, as well as the poisonous and beneficial properties, of oleander. Arab physicians first used oleander as a cancer treatment in the 8th century AD.

Nowdays there is no scientific evidence that oleander is effective in treating cancer or any other disease. However, even though oleander is poisonous, heavily diluted oleander preparations have been promoted to treat a variety of conditions including muscle cramps, asthma, corns, menstrual pain, epilepsy, paralysis, skin diseases, heart problems, and cancer. It has also been used in folk remedies as an insecticide. 

Source:
http://www.botanical-online.com/floradelfaangles.htm
http://sciweb.nybg.org/science2/Onlinexhibits/citrus.htm

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/ETO/content/ ETO_5_3X_Oleander_Leaf.asp?sitearea=ETO

 

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Raisin Tree - Hovenia dulcis
Borojo - Alibertia patinoi - Borojoa patinoi
Butterfly Pea - Clitoria ternatea
Honey Flower - Melianthus major
Ombu - Phytolacca dioica
Lion's Ear - Wild Dagga - Leonotis leonurus
Moringa - Miracle Tree - Moringa oleifera
Sea Daffodil - Pancratium maritimum
Spear Lily - Gymea - Doryanthes
Camphor tree - Cinnamomum camphora
Waterwheel - Aldrovanda vesiculosa
Flowering rush - Butomus umbellatus
Four o'clock - Marvel of Peru - Mirabilis jalapa
Dead Manís Fingers - Decaisnea
Bitter Melon - Momordica charantia
Shoapnuts Tree - Shoapberry - Sapindus
Acerola - Malpighia
Monkey Ladder - Sea Heart - Entada gigas
Cherimoya - Annona cherimola
Caper - Capparis spinosa
Lithops - Living Stones
Chaste Tree - Vitex agnus-castus
Chilean Lantern Tree - Crinodendron hookerianum
Parrot's Beak - Lotus berthelotii
Water Hyacinth - Eichhornia crassipes
Guaiac Tree - Guaiacum officinale - Lignum-vitae
Mickey Mouse bush - Ochna serrulata
Cow's Udder - Solanum mammosum
Miracle fruit - Synsepalum dulcificum
Akebia - Akebia quinata
Chilean Firebush - Embothrium coccineum
Caesalpinia - Caesalpinia pulcherrima
Welwitschia - Welwitschia mirabilis
Saguaro - Carnegiea gigantea
Schisandra - Schisandra chinensis
Monarda - Bee balm - Bergamot
Tamarind - Tamarindus indica
Neomarica - Walking Iris
Red hot poker - Kniphofia - Tritoma
Sikkim rhubarb - Rheum nobile
Reseda - Mignonette
Paulownia - Paulownia tomentosa
Belamcanda chinensis - Leopard lily
Blue Poppy - Meconopsis
Cannonball Tree - Couroupita guianensis
Tamarillo - Cyphomandra betacea
Goji - Wolfberry - Lycium barbarum
Vanilla - Vanilla Planifolia
Stevia - Stevia rebaudiana
Pachypodium
Physalis
Ceropegia
Sturt pea - Swainsona formosa
Clematis
Grevillea
Jade vine - Strongylodon macrobotrys
Sansevieria - Snake Plant
Trochetia
Yareta - Azorella compacta
African tulip tree - Spathodea campanulata
Angel's Trumpets - Brugmansia
Achiote - Annato - Bixa orellana
Sausage Tree - Kigelia pinnata
Castor Oil Plant - Ricinus communis
Firewheel Tree - Stenocarpus sinuatus
Bat Flower - Tacca
Snake gourd - Trichosanthes cucumerina
Sedum
Hydnora - Hydnora africana
Pickerel Weed - Pontederia
Argan - Argania spinosa
Astilbe - False Goats Beard
Feijoa - Pineapple Guava - Acca sellowiana
Aquilegia - Columbine
Cassiope
Sweet Box - Sarcococca
Christmas Cactus - Schlumbergera
Foxtail Lily - Eremurus
Rue - Ruta graveolens
Pittosporum
Ylang-Ylang - Cananga odorata
Rose of Jericho - Anastatica hierochuntica
Gunnera
Waterlily - Nymphaea
Calico Flower - Aristolochia
Daylily - Hemerocallis
Contorted hazel - Corylus avellana Contorta
Torch Ginger - Etlingera elatior
Mistletoe - Viscum album
Devil´s claw - Harpagophytum procumbens
Teasel - Dipsacus
Pampas grass - Gynerium argenteum - Cortaderia Selloanna
Purple coneflower - Echinacea purpurea
Coral Tree - Erythrina crista-galli
Portulaca
Lobelia
Field Poppy - Papaver Rhoeas
Narcissus - Daffodil
Mimosa pudica - Sensitive Plant
Boxwood - Buxus sempervirens
Firethorn - Pyracantha
Star of Bethlehem - Ornithogalum
Cosmos
Muscari - Grape Hyacinth
Papyrus - Cyperus papyrus
Zinnia
Honeysuckle - Lonicera
Passiflora - Passion Flower
Calendula - Marigold
Lupine - Lupinus
Canna - Indian Shot
Witch Hazel - Hamamelis
Oak - Quercus
Brunsvigia - Candelabra Flower
Tree peony - Paeonia suffruticosa
Olive - Olea europaea
Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus
Desert rose - Adenium obesum
Oleander - Nerium Oleander
Abutilon
Sweet Pea - Lathyrus odoratus
Chaenomeles - Flowering Quince
Forsythia
Amaryllis - Hippeastrum
Butchers broom - Ruscus aculeatus
Bay Laurel - Laurus nobilis
Gloriosa
Bamboo
Gladiolus
Artichoke - Cynara scolymus
Clivia - Clivia Miniata
Dipladenia - Dipladenia sanderii
Date palm - Phoenix dactylifera
Peach - Prunus persica
Almond - Prunus amygdalus
Willow - Salix
Pomegranate - Punica granatum
Protea cynaroides
Colchicum autumnale
Bird of Paradise - Strelitzia reginae
Cardon - Pachycereus pringlei
Wolffia arrhiza
Puya raimondii
Fuchsia
Asphodelus - Asphodel
Primula - Primerose
Dicentra spectabilis - Bleeding Heart
Edelweiss - Leontopodium alpinum
Helleborus Niger - Christmas Rose
Zantedeschia - Calla Lily
Fritillaria imperialis - Crown imperial
Aster
Heliconia
Common Sunflower - Helianthus annuus
Bee Orchid - Orphys apifera
Convalaria majalis - Lily of the Valley - Muguet
Syringa Vurgaris - Lilac
Viola
Impantiens
Snowdrop - Galanthus
Poinsettia - Euphorbia pulcherrima
Dionaea muscipula
Banksia
Sea anemone
Amorrhophallus titanum
Rafflesia arnoldi

 

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